Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 20

& Maine Black Bears Human Arrogance By Catherine Shaw Bowker I generally do not consider myself an irresponsible person. I meet my deadlines, keep my promises and pay my bills. Yes, I sometimes assume my needs are more important than nature’s and nature has shown me on several occasions, there are consequences for my arrogance. But, is this irresponsibility? By the way, I don’t think I am alone in my pomposity. Admit it, you too have occasionally been selfish and put your desires above nature’s needs. Remember that apple you ate while driving to work? If you are like me, you probably tossed the core out of your car window confident you were doing no harm. After all, the core will eventually rot and fertilize the foliage growing along the sides of the road. While it is true the core will eventually rot, decomposition may not be the only way the core disappears. A hungry black crow could hop to the middle of the road where your carelessly discarded core landed and just as he is about to snatch the core a pulp truck loaded with freshly cut logs slams into him. Now, how harmless was your act? Yes, I guess it could be called irresponsible. Tossing apple cores is not my only crime of impudence; my dealings with Maine black bears have been less than stellar and now that spring is finally here, I am reminded of my past carelessness, and yes, irresponsibility. Many of us in the cold climes of Aroostook County, myself included, wish we could hibernate in the winter like the black bears. If, like the bears, I could lower my metabolic rate and sleep for those five to seven months, I would not have to curse the cold and shovel snow; I might even lose the extra pounds I haul around year after year. Compared to the rest of the year I do hibernate in the winter, but I hole up in my cozy home in front of the fireplace watching television, reading, and eating, when not complaining about winter and wishing for spring. I have it all wrong. I should be bulking up in the summer and fall in preparation for the long winter. Then when spring arrives I would not rue all those holiday temptations I downed and once again make a resolution to shed those extra pounds. Yes, the black bear knows what it is doing. 18 SPRING 2015 The Maine black bear’s winter is not all sleeping and dreaming of that spring feast. The mama bear is likely protecting and nurturing her cubs who were born in January. So even though it may appear she is sound asleep, like all mothers, she always has one eye open for those who mean to harm her babies. I am fortunate to live on t [